What a Pair
By Kevin Koenig
With a glossy black hull and a newly conceived sheerline that’s a bit of an update from Intrepid’s older models, the new 375 Center Console certainly looks the part. And that’s not even taking into account the massive, 557-horsepower outboards hanging off her transom.
Intrepid has always prided itself on the level of customizability its boats have, and the 375 Center Console is no exception. One strong point on my test boat—in a few different ways—was the boat’s starboard-side dive door, which, unlike most dive doors, was able to open inward so as not to bump up against docks or other boats. The hullside around the door is reinforced with stringers to make sure what could be a structural weak point is actually one of the very strongest parts of the entire hull.
However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t note one striking item on the 375’s spec sheet, and that, without a doubt, is her power package. Twin 557-horsepower outboards have a way of drawing a crowd. And rightfully so. They’re not huge—only about four inches wider than a 350-horsepower Yamaha—but man do they pack a wallop. This is essentially the very same powerplant you’ll find under the hood of a Chevy Camaro. And Intrepid put two of them … on a boat.
How’d that work out? You might be thinking right about now. Pretty freaking well, is the answer. Those engines are something else. The boat accelerates with panache and in a straightaway in calm conditions is said to have reached 61 knots. We got her up to 57 in a truncated section of the ICW, and my guess is that we could have gotten her up above 60 knots, but we would also then have planted ourselves headfirst into a bridge pylon. We went ahead and made the smart decision to lay off the throttles.
Most of the test however didn’t take place in calm seas, but instead in chopped up and confused 4-foot waves off of Ft. Lauderdale. Once on plane, the boat’s single-stepped hull with 66 degrees of deadrise at the bow and 22 degrees at the transom sliced right through the whitecaps. That single step is a nice design feature. It gives the boat the speed and chop-chewing ability of a stepped hull, without making her feel squirrelly, as has been a common knock on double-stepped hulls. And once you push the throttle down and the Seven Marine outboards get above about 4000 rpm, the sound, my goodness, the sound is like no other boat engine I’ve ever heard. It’s not a rumble, and it’s not a throaty roar—it’s a high-pitched whine like you’d hear coming from a performance motorcycle, or a ’roided-up mosquito trapped inside your skull. That’s what it sounds like at the helm—I can only imagine what it sounds like from the dock.
Intrepid builds its hull by infusing high-quality vinylester resin into a quad-ply laminate. Up until 2012, Intrepid was known for using polyester resins and a variety of laminates, including Kevlar. However, since then, they have been building exclusively using the quad-ply system, as they have found that the vinylester resin bonds very well with the quad-ply laminate, which has four multi-directional fibers woven into it.
Elsewhere, the builder has ensured durability by doing things like replacing rubber grommets on stowage compartments with rugged cable systems for the latches. Those systems won’t wear out anytime soon, and they keep the compartments snug as a bug.
The Intrepid 375 Center Console with 557s is the kind of boat that, if you’re in the market, you should definitely give a test drive. Even if she’s got more muscle than you think you need, she’s an absolute blast to drive.
Intrepid Power Boats, 954-922-7544; www.intrepidpowerboats.com
: 15,000 (dry)
: 400 gal.
: 40 gal.
: 2/557-hp Seven Marine outboards
: Various outboard configurations
: ZF, 1.75:1
: 15"x27" Inertia 5-blades
Vision livewell helm seat ($9,750); fiberglass T-top ($12,000); fiberglass folding rear seat ($3,667).
Air temperature: 93ºF; humidity: 75%; seas: 4'; load: 140 gal. fuel, 20 gal. water, 3 persons, 100 lb. gear. Speeds are two-way averages measured w/ GPS display. GPH estimates taken via onboard engine-monitoring system. Range is based on 90% of advertised fuel capacity.